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Innovation charity Nesta has been sharing results of their research into the current state and potential future of our creative economy – a sector inhabited by a great many freelancers.

Nesta claim that low investment in infrastructure and skills has resulted in low productivity rates in the UK, while a focus on technology has resulted in an inevitable computerisation of the role of many workers, creating a ‘sagging middle’ in the labour market. In the midst of this mess, they say the creative economy is ‘one of the UK’s unsung success stories’ and ‘stands out as a shining light’.

A Shining Light

The creative economy provides 2.6 million jobs in the UK – more than the construction or financial services sectors – and by the very nature of the creative individuals working within it, such as writers, actors, programmers and game developers, it tends to attract highly educated innovators.

Nesta’s research paper, ‘Creativity vs Robots’, paints a positive picture of the creative sector as an area where new growth can occur and atrophy can be avoided, as ‘87 per cent of highly creative workers are at low or no risk of automation, compared with 40 per cent of jobs in the UK workforce as a whole’.

Happy in their Work

According to further research undertaken for Nesta by SImetrica, workers in creative industries are also more satisfied and happy than workers in other sectors, and feel their job is worthwhile. However, on the downside they’re also more prone to anxiety – and those working within the media or IT are likely to have lower levels of wellbeing than those in independent art, craft and design occupations.

The Future of Creativity

Nesta predict that based on 1997 figures, there should be around one million new jobs in the creative sector by 2030, and that to capitalise on the sector’s success and ‘invest in the wellbeing of the workforce’, the UK government should work to ensure these jobs are created. In brief, their 5 principle recommendations are:

Will the newly re-elected Conservatives appreciate the connection between creativity and business and take heed?


About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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